Highlights of 2015 at LAS-ELC

It’s gratifying to see the nation’s attention turning to issues that LAS-ELC helps clients tackle year in and year out, including income disparity, wage theft, family and medical leave, discrimination, and retaliation. 

Here are a few of our notable achievements of this year.

Our Workers’ Rights Clinic has served more than 1,200 people across California fighting unpaid wages, unjust terminations, improper family leave practices, retaliation, and other issues. We opened new clinics in East Palo Alto and Watsonville. And we launched a fundraising campaign to expand our clinics to additional underserved areas statewide in celebration of our 100th anniversary.

Our Disability Rights Program is handling ground-breaking claims concerning public accommodation and disabled people’s access to public services across California. It also filed two lawsuits on behalf of a married couple claiming the national auto glass repair chain Safelite discriminated against them on the bases of disability and race. 

The National Origin Program won a significant federal trial on behalf of a Latino immigrant worker who was denied a job because he had previously used an invalid Social Security number. The court found that disqualifying applicants on this basis had a discriminatory impact.

Our Racial Equality Program is working on cutting-edge issues involved in employers’ use of arrest records in hiring decisions.

In our Gender Equity and LGBT Rights Program, we provide advice and trainings, and we’re celebrating the final settlement of Ollier v. Sweetwater, a key Ninth Circuit decision articulating that Title IX requires K-12 schools—as well as colleges and universities—to provide equal programming for girls and boys.

Our Work and Family Program cosponsored two important bills that became law: the Equal Pay Act, and SB 579, which expands job protections to parents who take leave for child care emergencies or to visit schools. Also, as a leader of the Healthy Mothers Workplace Coalition, we recognized 31 San Francisco employers for their family-friendly work policies.

And our Wage Protection Program secured more than $550,000 in wages owed and $250,000 in settlements for low-income clients combatting wage theft, unemployment insurance denials, and retaliation. We also negotiated a $100,000 settlement on behalf of a home aide who was made to work around the clock for 20 years at far less than minimum wage.

(Learn more here.) 

We look forward to continued success in 2016 advancing justice and economic opportunity for low-income people and their families. 

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